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[Editorial]JP must now come forward!

Posted July. 26, 2000 19:44,   


The joint move by the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) and the United Liberal Democrats (ULD) to railroad the passage of a bill for the revision of the National Assembly Law (NAL) gave rise to the current parliamentary deadlock. The first plenary session of the 16th National Assembly descended into chaos in the end. As a result, the day-to-day operation of state affairs ground to a halt, and bills concerned with the peoples` everyday livelihood and welfare, such as the revisions to the Pharmaceutical Law and supplementary budget legislation, had to be left in limbo until the next session. Examining the current deplorable state of affairs, it appears that partisan interests have engulfed the bread and butter issues most important to the average citizen. Both the ruling and the opposition parties must pass the priority bills that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people.

As this daily has already pointed out in a recent editorial, the MDP must offer an apology for the house steering committee`s forced passage of the bill. The ruling party must declare the unilateral passage null and void. This is the only way to serve, to quote Speaker Lee Man-Sup`s comments on the situation, the best interests of our nation, the National Assembly and the ruling party.

Apart from the pending issue of reconvening the dissolved parliamentary session, it is also imperative for us to clear up the mounting suspicions surrounding an alleged secret agreement between Lee Hoi-Chang and Kim Jong-Pil (JP), which has caused the legislative

uproar. In no way can we gloss over these rumors if we are to remedy the public`s growing distrust of politics.

In an interview on July 25, Grand National Party (GNP) leader Lee Hoi-Chang categorically denied any forging secret agreement with the ULD`s Kim. Reports also claimed that Lee reprimanded his party`s floor leader, who stated July 26 that his party could cooperate in the NAL revision, which would enable the ULD to form a parliamentary negotiation group. In his denial of secret dealings between him and Kim, Lee firmly and clearly stated that the issue of the ULD`s status as an Assembly negotiation group was not even mentioned in their controversial meeting, let alone discussed.

ULD honorary president Kim, who was party to the suspected secret deal, must now come forth to confirm or deny whether this was indeed the case. The world knows that JP was the hidden manipulator behind the parliament`s railroading action. It is no secret that the MDP tried to embrace the ULD as its coalition ally by any means possible in order to secure the parliamentary majority. The GNP, in its own way, has also groped to establish some meaningful relations with the ULD. In the process, the controversial meeting between Lee and Kim materialized. This prompted the MDP to adopt its lightning tactics.

The MDP claims that there was a secret consensus of some sort between Lee and Kim on the issue of the ULD`s status as a parliamentary negotiation group. The ULD has spread similar rumors about the suspected deal for some reason. But JP, the person directly involved in the alleged secret pact, is keeping his lips sealed. It behooves him to fully disclose all the facts surrounding this case. As a senior politician and the leader of a political faction, he must surely know what his position obligates him to do for the people. Any undue recourse on his part to political tricks and treachery or attempts to secure the interests of his political faction and himself may only expedite his political demise. This would give added momentum to the campaign of civic leaders and new politicians to drive JP out of the political arena altogether as a symbol of all the unsavory and trite aspects of the nation`s old politics.